Laryngopharyngeal reflux and laryngeal web formation in patients with pediatric recurrent respiratory papillomas

Bradford W. Holland, James A. Koufman, Gregory N. Postma, William F. McGuirt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether treatment of laryngopharyngeal reflux reduces the laryngeal soft tissue complications encountered in surgery for recurrent respiratory papillomas. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Methods: Retrospective chart review of all pediatric patients treated for laryngeal recurrent respiratory papillomas between 1984 and 1999 was performed. Thirty-one such patients were identified. Twenty-four were at "high risk" for developing complications based on the number of operating suite visits and the presence of disease at the anterior commissure. Twelve patients underwent 24-hour double pH probe testing. Results: Overall, 13 of 31 patients (42%) developed laryngeal webs. No other soft tissue complications were encountered. Of the patients who had pH probe testing, 12 of 12 (100%) had at least one pharyngeal episode of acid exposure. Of the "high-risk" patients, 10 were treated for reflux and only 2 of 10 (20%) developed webs. Eleven of 14 (79%) of the "high-risk" patients who were not treated for reflux developed webs. The difference in rate of web formation between patients treated for reflux and those not treated for reflux was statistically significant (P = .011). Conclusions: Antireflux treatments for patients undergoing surgery for laryngeal recurrent respiratory papillomas may reduce the soft tissue complications, especially scarring and web formation. Prophylactic antireflux therapy may be warranted in any patient undergoing surgery during which laryngeal mucosal disruption is anticipated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1926-1929
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Laryngeal webs
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux
  • Recurrent respiratory papillomas
  • Surgical complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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